* Exports may rise 3-5% in H1 and 4% in full-2021
* Jan exports to US + 12.4% y / y, to China + 9.9%
* Jan returns -5.24% vs -8.30% in Reuters poll (Adding details, H1 forecast)
BANGKOK, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Thailand’s exports rose in January for a second straight month, climbing 0.35% from a year earlier, and should continue to grow this year as the global economy recovering, trade ministry said Tuesday.
Exports, Thailand’s main driver of growth, are expected to rise 4% this year after a 6.01% shortfall in 2020, Phusit ministry official Ratanakul Sereroengrit told a briefing.
Support factors include stimulus measures in several countries and vaccine circulation, he said, adding that passenger growth could reach double numbers in the fourth quarter of June.
“Exports could grow by 3-5% in the first half and 3-4% in the second half,” he said.
January exports, however, were short of the 1.85% forecast rise in the Reuters poll and slower than the 4.71% rise in December.
While shipments of cars and car parts, computers and rubber products increased last month, gold exports fell 90.3% due to volatile gold prices. Without gold, exports would have gone up 6.27%, the ministry said.
Demand from key markets was higher in January, with exports to the United States up 12.4% year-on-year, to China up 9.9% and to Japan up 7.4%.
Imports in January fell 5.24% from a year earlier, outperforming an expected 8.3% fall, resulting in a trade deficit of $ 202 million a month. (Narrated by Kitiphong Thaichareon and Satawasin Staporncharnchai Written by Orathai Sriring Edited by Ed Davies, Martin Petty)